It is my honor to nominate Wyoming residents to the US Service Academies. A commission from a Service Academy – Air Force, Navy, West Point, or Merchant Marine – is a great place to begin a career serving in our nation’s armed forces. Applicants should start working on each academy’s requirements early. It is imperative to complete forms accurately and to be mindful of deadlines. The Coast Guard handles its own application and appointment process.
Competition for the appointments is rigorous. Successful students have
• Strong High School GPAs
• High scores on the ACT or SAT
• Demonstrated leadership and strength of character through participation in sports, extracurricular activities, employment, and community service
An appointment requires two applications – one for a Congressional nomination and one to the individual service academy(s).
Requirements for a NOMINATION application:
• Application Form
Submit both a hard and electronic copy
• Essay describing career goals
• Photograph (must fit in box on hard copy of application form)
• High School transcript
• ACT or SAT Scores
• Three letters of recommendation from people who know you well
Your application must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2019. Mail all of the above to
US Senator John Barrasso
ATTN: Daniel Gallegos
PO Box 22201
Casper, WY 82602
Academy Board Interview
In addition to your application, you must interview with my Academy Board. Interviews are in Casper, typically a Saturday in December. The three Wyoming Congressional offices conduct their boards in the Dick Cheney Federal Building and usually on the same date.
To Prepare For Your Interview, Be Prepared To Describe and Discuss:
• The three officer procurement programs – Service Academies, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and Officer Candidate School (OCS)
• The relationship between the officer and enlisted ranks
• The expectations placed on a newly commissioned officer
Based on the board’s recommendation, I will announce my nominations by early January. Each academy will then make their appointments based on character, scholarship, test scores, leadership, physical and medical fitness, motivation, and suitability for a military career.
Contact my Military Liaison, Daniel Gallegos in my Casper office (307-261-6413) with questions. He can help you create the strongest application packet possible.
Application Essay Must
• Be 3-4 pages, double spaced
• Describe your career goals
• Explain why you want to attend a service academy. What is your motivation?
• Discuss how the military fits with your goals
• Describe how past experiences will prepare you to be a successful cadet/midshipman
Results of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Training (ACT) scores should be sent to my Cheyenne office by using the code number 4985 for the SAT and 7200 for the ACT.
Coast Guard Academy
The United States Coast Guard Academy does not require a formal nomination by a member of Congress. However, if you apply to the Coast Guard Academy, my office would like to hear about your interest and background. Contact info above.
Major General C Donald Alston (Ret.)
“Military operations often involve personal risk and always have great consequence. Effective leaders must ensure their folks are prepared to do the mission and trust them to execute well. But it’s also essential to see them in action to let them know mission success depends on them and so you can tell them – and the world -- just how great they are.”
General Alston was commissioned in 1978 following graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He commanded at the squadron, group, wing and numbered air force levels. He directed the Air Force Nuclear Task Force that conceived and developed the roadmap, “Reinvigorating the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise.” This drove sweeping institutional change, to include the stand-up of the first new major command in 15 years, the large-scale expansion of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, and a major reorganization of the air staff.
General Alston served as the first Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration. He worked as liaison officer to the U.S. House of Representatives and also served as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C.
Before retiring from the US Air Force in 2012, General Alston was Commander, 20th Air Force, Air Force Global Strike Command, and Commander, Task Force 214, U.S. Strategic Command, F. E. Warren Air Force Base. He was responsible for the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile force, organized into three operational wings with more than 9,600 military and civilian personnel.
General Alston and his wife Ana have two grown children and several grandchildren.
Brigadier General Henry (Hank) Castillon (Ret.)
Si vis pacem, para bellum,
"If you want peace, prepare for war".
Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus's tract De Re Militari Book 3
General Castillon joined the Army while still in high school, starting his career as an enlisted radio communications wireman. With encouragement from his NCO leadership, he went on to the military academy and became a commissioned officer in 1968.
His first tour in Vietnam, from 1968 to 1969, was as an infantry forward observer. He loved working with the infantry, but chose to stay in country after that tour to expand his knowledge and experience in the role of an aerial field artillery observer.
General Castillon left active duty in 1970 and joined the Wyoming Army National Guard. He became Assistant Adjutant General in 1992 and was promoted to Brigadier General in March 1993, retiring in 1998.
The General's military awards and decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device for Valor with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.
General Castillon and his wife, Patty, have three grown children and two grandsons.
Brigadier General Tammy J. Maas
“Saddle your own horse”.
I live by the Code of the West and have added my own additional principle.
The meaning of this quote is we should all carry our own weight and not expect anyone to do our work.
Brigadier General Tammy J. Maas recently retired as the Assistant Adjutant General for the Wyoming Army National Guard. General Maas began her military career in 1979 when she joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard. She attended Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Initial Entry Training as a computer operator at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. General Maas moved to Wyoming in 1982 and joined the 197th Engineer Detachment at Camp Guernsey. After completing 10 years of service and reaching the rank of staff sergeant, she attended the state Officer Candidate School program in 1989 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.
General Maas held a number of command positions in the state including 197th Engineer Detachment; 960th Maintenance Company; Detachment 2, Headquarters State Area Command Training Site; and 1st Battalion, 213th Regiment Regional Training Institute. She also served as garrison commander of Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center. Prior to becoming the Wyoming Army National Guard commander, General Maas served as the Chief of Staff and the Construction and Facilities Management Officer.
Commander (Ret.) Thomas Arnold
“Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.” ? Douglas MacArthur
Commander Arnold graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 at the height of the Viet Nam War. He applied to the Naval Academy the beginning of his high school senior year and was selected on his third application.
In 1971 Commander Arnold served in Vietnam as the advisor to the commanding officer of a Coastal Group in the Mekong Delta. The unit’s boat had the job of patrolling the rivers and canals. He commanded a small team of Americans who advised Vietnamese troops and participated in their operations. He served as a forward air controller riding on Vietnamese armored gunboats and controlling the American helicopter gunships during their operations.
Upon returning to the U.S., Commander Arnold was an instructor at the Navy Riverine Warfare School in Coronado CA. He left active duty to open his own business. He continued to serve in the Navy Reserves and became an Intelligence Officer, eventually retiring from the Reserves as the Commanding Officer of a Reserve Intelligence Unit. Recently he served as a volunteer admissions officer (Blue and Gold Officer) for the US Naval Academy.
Commander Arnold and his wife, Karen, have three grown children.
Daniel R. Gallegos. Military Liaison, US Senator John Barrasso
“You only have two choices, meet the standard or exceed the standard.”
This is one of seven rules that I live by and enforced with the soldiers I trained and led. My soldiers nicknamed the seven rules “The Law.”
Daniel Gallegos was born and raised in Wyoming. He joined the Army out of High school. During a short brake in service, he discovered that “the Army life was the life for him.” He began his career as a medic. Daniel was part of the 3rd Infantry Division during the Invasion of Iraq, 10th Mountains Division during the surge, as well as a part of KFOR in Kosovo. He mentored many officer and enlisted personnel. When his service ended 11 and a half years later, he was a member of a MiTT (Military Transition Team), training and operating with the 5th Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army.
Daniel has a BA in Political Science from the University of Wyoming and a Masters in Diplomacy from Norwich University. He is the Military Liaison for US Senator John Barrasso where he assists veterans, service members, and their families with problems